I just checked Mt. Mitchell’s weather station and saw that yesterday the high was 18 and the low this morning was 14, with a -9 factoring in the windchill. Tough conditions! We had our first frost this morning. Winter is soon upon us. As I have been holding charge conferences day-in-day-out, I can tell you that there are marvelous ministries, but there is also a systemic anxiety in the air. The economic fallout has caused sincere people of faith to wonder about their future. My thinking is that we’re in a time like the Great Depression and WWII that produced the “Builder” generation and what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation.” As I ponder this coming All Saints Day, I think about my father who quit school in the 8th grade to help his family survive. He was 13 at the time the Stock Market crashed. He subsequently joined the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps), married my Mom, survived the War years and became a successful businessman and a superb Christian.
Churches were filled as people’s extrinsic idols disappeared. Maybe we’re on the cusp of another such time, and a time of great revival. I recently was given a October 2008 prayer by Max Lucado, “You Have Our Attention, Lord” that puts all of this in perspective:
“Our friends lost their house
The co-worker lost her job
The couple next door lost their retirement
It seems that everyone is losing their footing
This scares us. This bailout with billions.
These rumblings of depression.
These headlines: ominous, thunderous –
“Going broke!” “Going Down!” “Going Under!” “What Next?”
What is next?
We’re listening. And we’re admitting: You were right.
You told us this would happen.
You shot straight about loving stuff and worshipping money.
Greed will break your heart, you warned.
Money will love you and leave you.
Don’t put your hope in riches that are so uncertain.
You were right. Money is a fickle lover and we just got dumped.
We were wrong to spend what we didn’t have,
Wrong to neglect prayer and ignore the poor,
Wrong to think we ever earned a dime. We didn’t. You gave it.
And now, tell us Father, are you taking it?
We’re listening. And we’re praying.
Could you make something good out of this mess?
Of course you can. You always have.
You led slaves out of slavery,
Built temples out of ruins,
Turned stormy waves into a glassy pond and water into sweet wine.
This disorder awaits your order. So do we.”